Tory latest: Javid and Hunt promise tax cuts as Shapps defends decision not to resign from Boris cabinet
Sajid Javid has said his tax-cutting plans would cost around £39 billion per year, but this did not include slashing fuel duty further in the short-term.
The Tory leadership candidate said he does not “believe in unfunded tax cuts”, adding: “I will be setting out in the next few days a scorecard which will show exactly how all of that we funded in a sustainable way.”
He said he believes in the current fiscal situation the country can afford to scrap the national insurance hike and still fund the promised boost for the NHS and social care.
Meanwhile, Conservative former minister Jeremy Hunt billed himself as the most “experienced” hand in the party leadership content.
Mr Hunt told the BBC’s Sunday Morning that there were “a lot of very angry voters” who had abandoned the party in recent months, adding: “They are not going to come back to us automatically and choosing me will be a very strong signal that the Conservative Party has listened to their anger.
“The reason I am putting my name forward is not that, it is because the two biggest challenges we face as a country now are the international crisis in Ukraine and an economy teetering on the brink of recession.
“I am the experienced Foreign Secretary who is also an entrepreneur who will get the economy going.”
On whether he would offer tax cuts for struggling families, Mr Hunt said: “No Conservative should offer unfunded tax cuts. I think that no Conservative should raise taxes either. What you need is smart tax cuts that will grow the economy.”
The former health secretary also said he would be happy to publish his tax records in the event he were one of the two final candidates in the race.
Elsewhere, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said he did not resign from Boris Johnson’s Government out of a sense of “responsibility”.
Asked by Times Radio why he did not stand down from his Government role, Mr Shapps said: “Why didn’t I resign? I believe in public service. I think that this country has to have secretaries of state in place for legal responsibility in being able to assist – well, just to dispense Government.”
He added: “There is a responsibility, we have rail strikes on, we have issues at airports, many other things which I don’t think it is right just to walk away from, so I just focused relentlessly on the job over a considerable period of time.
“I think actually the evidence has been in the competency with which I have tried to and I think I have run that department.”
On having to defend No 10 from scandals in broadcast interviews, Mr Shapps said: “When you join a Government you join collective responsibility and you decide on the priorities, manifesto and the rest of it, internally but collective responsibility means that you go out and you represent that point of view.
“I would expect the same from anybody in a future Shapps government.”